NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On January 28, 2022, more than 30 students from local institutions participated in the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance (MVA) Interinstitutional Interprofessional Education (IPE) student project. Gathering via Zoom, they met with faculty mentors and Nashville-based organizations to brainstorm ways to improve the community.
Since its inception in 1999, the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance has sought to create innovative avenues for interprofessional education (IPE) collaboration that not only allow students and faculty to share and apply their knowledge, but also leave a lasting impact. The IPE student project provides an opportunity for students from various health profession programs to collaborate with local partners in a real-world setting.
“This year the students received great direction and influence on what they should be accomplishing,” explained Jessica Jones, MS, Interprofessional Education Program Manager. “We emphasized equity and sustainability of the deliverables.”
Students will reconvene for two more meetings with community partners on February 24 and March 24, 2022, before presenting these deliverables.
Previous IPE student projects included developing summer learning curriculums geared toward empowering young girls of color, publishing a booklet on accessing healthcare for low-income individuals, and conducting surveys to help organizations better address the needs of underserved populations.
“These projects let students know that the work they do goes beyond the clinic,” Jessica said. “It allows them to see the patients they serve in their environment and reinforces their understanding of the importance of what they do.”
Returning local organizations included the Oasis Center, Dismas House, Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA), and . Three new community partners also chose to participate in the program this year: Vanderbilt Mobile Vaccination Program, MyFitScript, and Our Place Nashville.
Faculty advisor , of Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy, second row down on the left, emphasizing that when planning their deliverable, students should have the community partner’s clientele in mind and ensure that final products are equitable and sustainable.